Santa Rosa beer pioneer Byron Burch dies at 75

When Bear Republic Brewing co-founder Richard G. Norgrove first wanted to learn about brewing beer, he turned to Byron Burch’s seminal 1986 book: “Brewing Quality Beers: The Home Brewer’s Essential Guidebook.” That led to hands-on sessions at Burch’s Santa Rosa store, The Beverage People, where Burch taught a generation of home brewers how to turn barley malt, hops and yeast into craft beer at a time when it still was more of a burgeoning hobby than the multibillion-dollar industry it is today. … In essence, Burch was a teacher who could make craft brewing understandable to the masses, friends noted, which wasn’t surprising given that the Minnesota native received an undergraduate degree in English from Westmont College in Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in literature from San Francisco State. Read More

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